ADR: Pardon My French

Anyone notice something odd about Jodie Foster’s dialogue on Neil Blomkamp’s Elysium?


The reason for the ‘what the heck?’ weirdness was that it was entirely re-recorded in post production. Sound mixer, Chris Scarabosio:

“The studio wanted Jodie Foster’s accent changed. She had done her original performance with a French accent, and a lot of test audience people weren’t responding well to that, so all her lines were re-recorded in a more American accent. It was huge undertaking Vince Renaud, the ADR supervisor/dialogue supervisor, did great job working with Jodie Foster, who’s a phenomenal looper – her ADR skills are really good. So it was a combination of being vigilant about getting the performances as tight with her mouth as possible, but recognising that some of the different inflections meant that getting a perfect look every time was impossible.

EQ and reverb are always the first stops to helping your ADR fit – matching the tonal balance and space that’s captured on set in production. But I also use a plug–in called The Decapitator. It’s a plug–in designed to provide extreme distortion, but I use it like a microphone preamp to colour the voice in such a way that it doesn’t sound like it just for recorder in the studio. Ultimately, it has to sound part of it all happening that day on the set. Even with sound effects: I don’t want anyone to know that whatever we did happened in a studio. I just want it to feel like it happened right then when the cameras were rolling.”

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